Paddle boarders are similar to surfers (they may also be surfers!) as they love being in the Ocean. Social media is full of images and videos where paddle boarders interact with Ocean Life observing the sea as if they were guests at a public aquarium. I’ve never paddle boarded, but I would love to experience looking at wildlife in the Ocean…the experience would be phenomenal. It would be easy to argue that paddle boarders are for the protection of the Ocean, from maintaining healthy water quality to protecting wildlife from harm. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a story published in the Washington Post of a paddle boarder who killed a Deep-Sea Squid because he thought it was dying.
I am conflicted by the circumstances. How did the paddle boarder know the animal was injured? Even if it was injured, how would he know that the squid was going to die? The story writes that the paddle boarder was positive that the giant squid was on its death bed, but how was he qualified to make that decision. Could it be that the animal could have recovered? I could very well be that the animal was going to die, but who has the right to kill it themselves without checking with the authorities or with a veterinarian?
Deep-sea squids have been known to rise to the surface during their last days, so it is entirely possible that the animal was going to die. However, I argue that the deep-sea squid could provide more good dead in the Ocean than to humans on the beach. A dead giant squid would slowly sink to the bottom of the ocean and, similar to dead whale carcasses, would provide food and shelter to a diverse array of marine species.
Why do we feel that we need to kill things when we think they are dying. I think we need to start shifting our minds to the opposite spectrum and ask ourselves, how would the Ocean benefit if we just left some things alone.
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